Livin’ La Vida Vintage – Estate Sale Nirvana
As you may know, Madge is a denizen of estate sales. What you may not know is that Atlanta area is the holy grail of said sales. For you poor souls who are unfamiliar with the concept, a quick definition from the dictionary of Madge:
Estate sale: A “whole house” sale rather than a garage, yard or tag sale. Usually held by a professional dealer, used primarily by heirs to get rid of the precious items that mom and dad were so sure the kids would want to keep.
Madge lives in a real sweet spot for these sales, an area known as Sandy Springs/Dunwoody. This area is full ranch style homes built in the 50s and 60s many with their original owners still holed up inside. These sales are always an adventure, ranging from the fabulous to the not so much. I remember one recent sale where the heirs had locked up the house and walked away for five years. Madge came on the last sale day as unusual (that’s the day for the best prices) and boy did the house reek of mold. The dealer told me there was so much mold they even found it inside the kitchen cabinets! It was so unfortunate since a lot of what would have been nice items did not sell due to their condition.
It was at a better day and sale (i.e. no mold!) when Madge found this smart 1960s handbag.
It’s an absolutely lovely shade of green leather and is very well made and of course it’s available at the shop. When Madge finds a handbag at an estate sale she never knows what mysteries lie within. This one held a small pink plastic comb, a band-aid and this yellowed business card.
Martin D. Hughes, Humorist,
Four “After Dinner” Programs
in good taste
Looking at the card and guessing this is mid to late 60s, my hunch is he did a bit as the president of the Garden Club or some other women’s club. So I Googled Martin D. to see if I was right. Sure enough there was a blurb from the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, May 1, 1968. “The final meeting of Twentieth Century Club has been changed. Instead of Countess Maria Pulaski as scheduled earlier in the season, Martin D. Hughes will appear in a comedy program entitled Madam Chairman.”
Ok, let’s set the scene. Small town Oshkosh. An actual countess soon to be in their midst. The excitement, the planning, don’t even get me started on the dress and hat decision-making. Then — the countess cancels at the last minute and who should walk into the Century Club of Oshkosh? Martin D. Hughes in this getup. Talk about a letdown. “I bought a new hat for this???”
Is it just me, or does this sound like a lost episode of the Andy Griffith Show?
More Googling and on the Drag Artist Discography page; yes there is one, this is why God invented Google; there are two different covers of the same album. Then, SCORE! Found the LP on EBay, which Madge promptly purchased!
It’s is a live album and not particularly funny. After listening to the album Madge is even more confused as to why this was a hit at Women’s Clubs, the very group he was parodying.
Oh well, so back to the card in the handbag. How did it get there? Did the previous owner once live in Oshkosh? Did Madame Chairman actually play a gig in Atlanta? Was this one of his props? Oh my God, what if this was Martin’s favorite handbag? Sadly, we will never know.
So here’s to you Martin, June 21, 1904 – February 1, 1980.
I hope you’re still funny.
Hey! That’s my grandfather! This was amazing to stumble across!
I have been doing some research on family and found your site because of the reference to Martin D. Hughes. He was my great-aunt’s brother-in-law. I can still remember going to see him give one of his performances in Galveston, TX and his spending a few days visiting with our family. He was truly a warm and funny man. I am sure those who were disappointed in not meeting a countess were delighted with Madam Chairman by the end! Thanks for posting about the card. Love the purse by the way!
Thanks so much for commenting JoAnn. He sounds like a hellva guy!
I’m so fascinated by this that I can hardly stand it!
OH MY GOSH!!! What a scream! Literally! How fun is this? I guess you never DO know what you are going to find.
Also – I am dying a little over that handbag!
What a treat to find in the bag! Thank you for doing the background check on Martin. It does sound like a lost episode!
Best to you!